Network Rail and RMT bosses are once again entering talks to see if the latest set of strikes, announced yesterday, can be averted.
The national rail strike earmarked to start on bank holiday Monday earlier this week was narrowly avoided after a new offer was tabled by Network Rail bosses, in order to give the unions time to discuss it with their area representatives.
However yesterday RMT general secretary Mike Cash confirmed the strike was back on, dubbing the offer “unacceptable”.
Two strikes have been scheduled – the first starting at 5pm on June 4 and the second starting just after midnight on June 9 until 5pm on June 11.
The deal is for a consolidated one per cent pay rise in 2015, with a minimum increase of £250, while in 2016 workers will receive a 1.4 per cent increase, with an additional 0.7 per cent “subject to productivity measures”.
The deal also includes a guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies during the two-year period.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has waded into the row, slamming the unions for planning “unnecessary and unreasonable strike action”.
He said: “I condemn it wholeheartedly and urge the union to reconsider.
“Over the past four years Network Rail staff have enjoyed pay rises eight-times higher than other public sector workers.
"By any measure RMT members already get a fair deal.”